April 19, 2010

Books: Wisdom Chaser

I finished a book a couple of weeks ago. I read it in its entirety. I used to do that weekly . . . sometimes daily. But during this season of my life, it just doesn't happen that often unless it's a board book or features a Berenstain Bear.

I ordered Wisdom Chaser: Finding My Father at 14,000 Feet by Nathan Foster as soon as I heard it was available. I wanted to read it, mainly because I know the author. Kyle and I were in a small group with Nate and his wife, Christy, for a year.

There's so much to unpack from this book, and I won't even try to touch on it all here. A couple of years ago, when I first met Nate, I asked him what his book was about. He responded, "It's about climbing mountains with my dad, and what I learned on each of those climbs."

And it is . . . but that description doesn't do it justice. Nate writes with a unique type of authenticity that makes the words comfortable and uncomfortable all at the same time. I'm still processing quite a bit of what I've read and the corners are turned on several pages marking where I'd like to go back and re-read. But one of the passages that stuck with me . . . one of the things that I still think about daily . . . is this (pages 42 - 43):

"Time lets us know that we are loved. In periods of isolation or sadness when someone shares their time, it doesn't just mean a lot - it means everything. The only thing I have any control over is what I do in this fleeting moment. Time, my most valuable possession, is quite possibly my only real possession.

Isn't one illustration of God's love the offering of his constant presence to us? Even still, my struggle to show up for others remains. What does it say when I withhold this valuable commodity? Busyness is the ultimate trump card. It will get you out of virtually every social situation, or at least buy you amnesty a few times when you let a friend down. 'I'm so sorry I forgot your birthday. I've just been so busy.' . . .

. . . If I'm busy, I don't have to be responsible for what I fail to do. Yet my actions send a message whether I intend them to or not. Of course, it's probably no coincidence that most people set up a life of near panic. Like any other addiction busyness works so well. It gives us the edge to avoid emptiness, loneliness, unpleasant memories, hurt, intimacy - and, subsequently, the clarity that silence and an unhurried life can bring. Still, almost everyone I know is trying to get caught up, trying to commit to fewer things, and aching to get away from the frantic race that consumes modern America. Self included. Truth is, sometimes I don't want a slow-paced, intentional life. I have systematically engineered a life of chaos. The consequences at least appear better than facing the reality of my own life. And so each generation is more disconnected than the last. When I look around a the world, I see a bunch of people desperate to know they are loved living in the shadows of a community too busy to pay attention to anyone but themselves."

1 comment:

Rudd Family said...

Thanks for posting this! This really touched my hear!